3 fundamental ways to boost your lawn bowls delivery

by | Jul 24, 2017

1. Take a consistent mat position.

Each time you deliv­er a bowl, step onto the same spot on the mat. For most bowlers, most of the time, that means stand­ing with the shoul­der of your bowl­ing arm cen­tred above the mat, then turn­ing slight­ly to face your aim­ing point. If you’re all over the mat, your aim­ing point will be slight­ly dif­fer­ent for every shot, and your brain will strug­gle to get an instinct for your bowls’ path.

There’s an exception—on wonky rinks or when there’s no oth­er way around an obsta­cle, you can stretch one foot out to the side while keep­ing the oth­er on the mat. Some bowlers per­fect this style of deliv­ery, but it usu­al­ly throws your aim or weight out of whack.

2. Aim your feet, and square your shoulders.

After you piv­ot slight­ly on the mat so your feet are ori­ent­ed towards your aim­ing point, keep your shoul­ders square to that line as you swing. This helps you devel­op a smooth pen­du­lum swing with­out cross­ing your arm in front of your tor­so.

A square stance works for most peo­ple, but if you have wide hips that force your swing out to the side, try posi­tion­ing your body more like an archer’s, one foot a lit­tle in front of the oth­er and shoul­ders angled slight­ly. Sud­den­ly your hips aren’t in the way. Your swing­ing arm will angle across your body, but it can fol­low a straight path along the aim­ing line.

3. Don’t let your arm get floppy.

When you move your arm as a con­trolled unit (which doesn’t mean it’s rigid), you’ll get a true pen­du­lum swing, with much bet­ter weight con­trol. Mus­cle mem­o­ry becomes eas­i­er, because your brain has just one thing to learn: “If I move my arm this hard, the bowl goes that far.” But if your elbow flex­es a lot, your brain gets addled: “Should I move my upper arm a lit­tle? Swing my low­er arm a lot? Or vice-​versa?”

Here’s your arm when it’s mov­ing well:

But here’s your arm when your elbow is flop­py:

Good luck bowl­ing with that swing!

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